Market Spotlight: Mobile

For this month’s market spotlight, we are turning our attention towards Mobile, a region that utilizes its abundant natural resources, prime location, and diverse workforce to support its thriving economy. According to the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, there are seven major industry clusters in the region, including aerospace, chemicals & manufacturing, healthcare, maritime, logistics and transportation, oil & gas, and technology. Many of these industries have found Mobile to be an ideal location due to the city’s close proximity to the gulf and multimodal transportation infrastructure. The region has access to two major highways, six railroads, two airports, and the port of Mobile making it ideal for the logistics and transportation industry. Oil & gas has become a major industry in the Mobile area due to their vast offshore oil reserves, which supply both gasoline and natural gas to much of the southeast U.S. The three major energy companies operating in the Mobile area process millions of cubic feet of gas per day, and the region sees nearly 10% of U.S. refining capacity transfer through the port of Mobile. In addition, 12% of Mobile’s workforce is employed in the healthcare sector and the city has a booming technology sector with strengths in software development, communications, IT manufacturing and services, and digital media. The success of Mobile’s diverse economy has led to some very positive effects on the housing market in the area as well.
The month of August 2019 saw total residential sales in the Mobile area of 481 homes, a monthly record for the past decade. This figure is 8.8% higher than that reported in August of 2018 where the area saw 442 total residential sales. Total residential sales did however fall 1.2% since July of 2019 where total sales were reported at 487. So far in 2019, the Mobile area has seen 3,336 total residential sales which is a 4.2% increase year-to-date from 2018 which saw total residential sales of 3,202 homes through August. This puts Mobile slightly ahead of Alabama as a whole, which saw a 3.8% increase in total residential sales year-to-date.
The median sales price for a Mobile home in August 2019 was $154,900, which represents a 3.3% increase year-over-year (Y/Y) from August of 2018 where the median home sales price was $149,900. In addition, the median sales price is up 4.2% year-to-date from $146,119 in 2018 to $152,281 in 2019. Compared to Alabama as a whole, Mobile had a median sales price that was $21,032 less than that reported at the state level.
An average home in the Mobile area spent 63 days on market (DOM) in August 2019. This is a 6.0% drop from the average of 67 DOM reported in August 2018, and also a record low in the past decade, where the highest average DOM reached a peak of 148 days in August 2011.  Year to date (YTD) the average home in Mobile during 2019 has spent 62 days on market, a 19.1% decrease from the same time last year which saw an average of 77 DOM.
During the month of August 2019, there were a total of 1,392 homes listed for sale. August of the previous year saw a total of 1,546 homes listed for sale, meaning August 2019 experienced a 10% decrease in home listings year-over-year from August 2018. This is a trend that the area has been experiencing for the last decade as the number of homes listed for sale has consistently fallen since reaching a peak in August of 2010 at 3,709 homes listed for sale.This lack of inventory is a trend that many other metro areas are experiencing as well. Compared to total homes listed for sale in August of 2018 for each city, Birmingham saw an 8.9% decrease in total homes listed for sale, Huntsville saw a 28.4% decrease, and Montgomery saw a 10.0% decrease. The state of Alabama as a whole also has been experiencing this lack of inventory as it reported a 12.6% decrease in homes listed for sale during August 2019 compared to August 2018.